As narrated by Immy
You know that feeling that you get in the pit of your tummy when you’re about to stand infront of a crowd…or say a speech..or take your driver’s license test…that feeling of a million knots inside of you and you feel as though you may just stop breathing. Well I was feeling all of that multiplied by 5 million just about now…
From the very minute that I had seen Maariah…there had been something. And as I got to know her, her personality drew me closer and closer. She was far from perfect – but aren’t we all? And recently, we had really started bonding well and…I was definitely falling for her. I never would have thought that through two people I had been following, I would eventually meet possibly the love of my life. And these two people, namely Naeem and Aara would also turn out to be really good friends. The irony of life.
And now this idiot…YES…idiot Ziyaad is just spoiling everything! I’m a detective for crying out loud…I interrogate people for a living and here I was, dumbstruck like a little boy!
Watching him on his knees infront of the woman I wanted, annoyed me to death and yet I couldn’t move!
Everyone seemed to have shock written all over their faces!
Mari: will I….what Ziyaad?
Ziyaad: will you please marry me?
Oh hell no!!!!
Ziyaad: (smiling) will you please marry me?
Mari: (stunned and shaking her head) no no no…I can’t!
I was so doing the happy dance in my head!
Ziyaad: (frowning) why not?
Mari: because I can’t
Ziyaad: that’s not an answer
Mari: Ziyaad I really like you…as a friend..and this is very awkward and I don’t know what else to say…really…are you serious??
Ziyaad: if I wasn’t serious I wouldn’t be on my knees infront of you Maariah
Mari: (holding her head in her hands) look Zee..you and I…we ..it’s just…not happening
Ziyaad: atleast tell me why
Mari: because I don’t want to
Mari: I don’t want to Ziyaad I’ve never looked at you in that way
Ziyaad: well you can try?
Mari: stop pushing it!
Ziyaad: you stop pushing it!
Mari: what am I pushing now???
Ziyaad: you know what you’re pushing!
Riza: errr from where I’m sitting no ones pushing anything!
Zee and Mari: Shurrup Reez!
Riza: okay okay..I’m just saying you know…
Aara: Reez…(And she put her finger on her lips)
Mari: I’m not pushing anything, you are!
Zee: hello…you’re pushing it woman!
Mari: urgh…what?? What?? What??
Zee: dude you’re pushing your feelings away!
Mari: what feelings???
Zee: you know…the kuch kuch hota hai feelings
Mari: Zee we are so not in a hindi movie
Zee: so what? This is real life and you are pushing your feelings away it’s as simple as that!
This guy was really starting to irritate me now…
Mari: I don’t have any feelings of the sort for you to push away!
Zee: who said anything about having any feelings for me? Although you know…if you do..I don’t mind 😉
Mari: (confused) I’m confused I have no idea what you’re saying
Zee: oh you’re so spoiling my moment…HIM HIM HIM you little dumb blonde! (And he pointed at me!)
Arshad: (chuckling) he just called you a dumb blonde!
Mari shot Arshad a killer look which shut him up immediately!
Mari: Him what??
Zee: (now sitting down on the ground) I give up! (Throwing his hands up in the air) I’ll have no kneecaps left by the time your braincells start working
Mari: what are you on about?
Zee rolled his eyes and looked at Aara
Zee: A…I give up!
Aara: don’t give up so easily Zee
Zoheb: (whispering to Aara) you know what’s going on here?
Aara smiled at me knowingly…oh…ohhhhh I see
Zee: (taking a deep breath in) you’re pushing your feelings for Immy away…you very quickly told me no because you love him and you don’t see it
Aara shook her head…I’m guessing Zee wasn’t supposed to say ALL of that! Wait…so Maariah you know…maybe…loves me??ME?? Yipppeeeeeeee
Mari had no answer…her face turned beetred and she looked down.
Zee: haha…blushing huh…very nice very nice keep it up (and he woke up and sat back in his place)
Nemo: you’re a mad ou you know that..I used to think that I was bad but now you give me hope…there’s worse than me out there :-p
Zee: there can only be one 😉
I was silent…and so was Mari…and everyone else had this grin on their faces but said nothing. I had asked Aara to help me as I wasn’t really close to Zainab or Laeeka, not that I was very close to Aara but we had an understanding and I knew her more than the rest of them. I mouthed a thank you to her and she smiled and nodded her head…and Mari had noticed.
As narrated by Zoheb:
Within half an hour of Ziyaad’s little “drama” everyone took to their tents.
Aara and Laeeka were sharing, Mari and Zai were sharing, Nemo and Ebie were sharing, Zee and Arshad,Immy, Riza and I had the bigger tent so the three of us were sharing.
Laeeka warned us not to do any pranks and let them sleep in peace. I smiled to myself as I remembered the look on Riza’s face when she said that:-p Classic!
I offered to keep watch for the first shift and Ebie would give me company. We decided that someone would have to be up just in case…I mean we were sleeping on the top of a mountain!
A few minutes after Ebie joined me at the fire…I received a pleasant surprise..
Aara: mind if I take your place Ebie?
Ebie: (smiling at Aara) ofcourse not…(And he went into his tent and put the light out)
Me: (taking her hand in mine as she sat down next to me) thank you applepie
Aara: (squeezing my hand) I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else..but…please find another name I don’t really like applepie..it makes me sound…fat!
Me: but its so cuuuute
Aara: uh uh
Me: okay…let’s see…baby…honey…sweetheart..wait that’s Nemo’s word
Aara: you say it so casually like it doesn’t bother you
Me: because it doesn’t…okay I lied..maybe just a little bit
Aara: (laughing and leaning against me) anyone else would have been screaming blue murder by now!
Me: (kissing her on her forehead) I’m so proud of you by the way…after everything…you still tried to help Maariah
Aara: I didn’t do it for her…
I looked at her for a few seconds before I hugged her tight…no words..no nothing. It clearly still hurt her a lot and would probably take a lot of time before she moved past it…
Fajr at the top of this mountain was breathtakingly beautiful! I felt this feeling when we read our salaah here yesterday as well…that feeling of being away from the world…that feeling of making dua in such tranquility that one could feel the words of your dua piercing through your heart. With no sound of anything else, my heart felt a strange peace.
We were not perfect…and this was the 21st century. Even though we knew that certain things were wrong, we were learning and hopefully one day we would change our lives to completely be the way it should be.
We watched a splendid sunrise that had all of us in awe! Sitting right next to this gushing waterfall, over 3000 metres above the foot of Sentinel Peak…was something that was now etched into my memory for life. I simply loved it here and no words were enough to describe this feeling.
Apart from Nemo,Ebie and I, everyone else decided to go back to their tents for a quick nap. Well I also wanted to nap but Nemo had asked me not to and instead had me follow him a good 50 metres or more away from our camping spot.
Me: where are we going?
Nemo: to meet a few fragments of our past
Me: really…here in the mountains?
Nemo: (climbing over a small rock) aha..(Holding his hand out to me while I climbed over as well)
I turned around…our campsite seemed so tiny and far away..
Me: I wish I could build a big house right over here and stay here forever!
Nemo: well your Zoheb is an architect so that shouldn’t be a problem
I just smiled. I think I was still tired.
Me: Where was the “fragments” of our past? I don’t remember there being any rocks and mountains in our past!
Nemo: patience tweety bird
And he carried on moving forward. He had such a serious look on his face…after a few minutes I noticed two figures not too far away from us and I strained my eyes to look properly. That was Immy and Maariah!
Me: why are we meeting them here?
And then Immy walked away! Oh no…no no no!
Me: I’m going back!
And I turned around to walk away when Nemo grabbed me by my wrist
Nemo: Aara…we need to do this
Me: no we don’t! Atleast not here and not now! What the hell man we are on holiday! Could she not find a better time to redeem herself???
Nemo: Stop it! Stop it right now! Timing has nothing to do with it- let her speak let’s just get it out! What’s with you anyway?
Me: what’s with me?? Me?? YOU are asking me this?
Nemo: Aara…just…just give her a chance please
Me: (pushing my way past him) fine!
I could hear Nemo hurry behind me as I proceeded towards Maariah…her face had guilt written all over it!
Nemo: (catching up with me and standing next to me) hey Mari..
As narrated by Maariah:
The moment of truth…had finally arrived. This wasn’t going to be easy but doing the right thing never is….
Me: (taking in a deep breath…now or never…now or never) Aara…Nemo…I’ve got to tell you both something very important…I’ve kept this in my heart for too long, I should have come clean I should have told you before…I did things that I’m not proud of and I realised my mistake long ago it’s just…I could never pluck up the courage to ask you both for forgiveness
Aara didn’t say anything…but looked straight into my eyes and I quickly looked down.
Me: the thing is…Aara..I was insanely jealous of you when we were on campus and I was jealous of you and Nemo being so close
Aara: let me guess…you were also one of those who were supposedly in love with Nemo too?
Nemo:(softly) let her finish Aara
Me: yes…I was one of them. I tried hard to break your friendship, very hard. (Tears falling out of my eyes) I did everything to make you look bad infront of Nemo..even…(Swallowing hard)even the time when Riza and Laeeka planned your surprise birthday party…it was because of me that Nemo never came
I felt my heart sink as I remembered the look on Aara’s face the day after…
Mari:(turning to Nemo) I switched your phone off and got you so engrossed in the game that you had forgotten…then I had everyone come over for that soccer party…
I could see Aara’s face getting red and she clutched her phone tighter…her fingers turning red.
Me:(swallowing hard) that was just one incident..there were many others…I was the one who used to phone you, tipping you off about Nemo (now sobbing) I was the one who sent you into the mouth of death each time you went in search of him…it was me Aara…it was me (and I burst out crying again)
Aara looked at Nemo…both of them were in tears..
Me: I’m so sorry…(Sobbing again)..I realised a little too late that what I was doing was wrong…I finally got it the day I saw Nemo in your flat. The way that he was with you, the way in which he behaved…somewhere down the line I am to blame for a part of it
I never meant for things to turn out the way in which they did
Nemo:(wiping his tears) you can’t blame yourself Mari..I’m not a baby I am to blame for my actions not you
Aara: (looking at Nemo with tears and anger in her eyes) yes but things could have turned out differently if there was no interference Nemo!!
Nemo: I get that Aara but what’s done is done…
Me:(desperately trying…) Aara I’m so so sorry…please I was younger and immature and I…
Aara:(snapping at me) and what about me? Was I older than you???we were the same age then too Mari!
Nemo: sweetheart (trying to hold Aara’s hand)…we are here now, back then is over…maybe we should just…let it go
Aara:(jerking his hand away) easy for you to say…let it go…(Looking at me)easy for you to say…forgive me…neither one of you know what I went through each and every day for 3 years!!
Nemo: you forgave me Aara and what I did was much worse than this…find it in your heart to forgive her please
Aara: (wiping away a tear) don’t tell me what to do! Can you forgive her? Can you forgive her for what she did to me? Can you??
Me: (crying uncontrollably…she was right..she was right..) Aara..
Nemo:(his hands on his head) YES!! I can forgive her…maybe back then I wouldn’t have been able to but you taught me how to forgive!! Who the hell am I to grudge anyone else after everything I’ve done!
Aara took off her jacket and flung it onto the ground. The look in her eyes was one that I have never seen before…she was angry..she was justifiably so so angry..
Aara:(rolling up her sleeve) I never showed you this and I never wanted to show you this (a long cut across her elbow) Linden…(Rolling her sleeve up a little further to reveal another scar) Bruma…(Lifting up the bottom of her pants covering her right foot to reveal her scarred ankle) my garage. Her planning and your actions!!!
Nemo was dumbfounded…and so was I. These scars…these were once…once wounds. I covered my mouth with my hand in shock and disbelief…what had I done?…what did she go through because of me???
Nemo fell onto his knees…
Nemo:(shocked) I inflicted all these wounds on you?
Aara:( her anger echoing in her voice)
tell me something, was Aadil sent by you also?
Me:(waving my hands infront of me) no no Aara…I didn’t know what he had in his head…he just told me that he really liked you and I thought that if you both hooked up it would..
Aara: make way for you and Nemo. (wiping her tears and looking at me) I cannot judge you, I cannot even hate you. Things change, people change, life changes. You did what you did, I can forgive you but Mari…how do I ever forget? You played with my feelings, you played with my emotions…you knew how much Nemo meant to me yet you made him hate me..my best friend…(Shaking her head) Fair enough we were not that close back then but there’s a thing that surpasses friendship and loyalty…it’s called humanity! Did you not see how it hurt me? Did you not see what was happening to him?
Me:( totally finished) I did Aara…eventually I did..if I could turn back the clock I would do so in the blink of an eye
Aara: and you waited so long to tell me? You and I are so close Mari…back then you and Laeeka were so close did you not think about Riza? Did you not think about Laeeka? And for what, for a bloody guy!!
I completely broke down..Nemo was crying…Aara was crying…
Aara: (to Nemo) do you see why I didn’t want to speak to her? Let it be? Forgive and forget? I crushed my heart with my own hands so don’t tell me to let it be!
Nemo: (looking at me) don’t hate her…
Me: I could never…
Aara: (wiping her tears and kneeling down infront of Nemo) you were right about one thing Nemo…(Wiping his tears) at the end of it all…our friendship…just wasn’t strong enough…then…but it is now. People may have forced us to fight and hate each other…but no one realises that we are bound by a single thread only
Nemo: (his head down) but I hurt you…and these scars will stay for life
Aara: I don’t regret helping you Nemo…but it hurts so badly knowing that someone who I considered a sister plotted and planned all these horrible things
Me: please Aara…make me maaf please…things would have been very different if I hadn’t done what I did..
Aara: (wiping her tears) I know its in the past, I know you can’t change anything and maybe…maybe you are really sorry..maybe I’m over reacting (throwing her hands up in the air) but right now you’ve just yanked all those wounds wide open.. right now Maariah…I have nothing to give you…not even forgiveness
Hope you enjoyed the extra long post. Next post on Wednesday Insha Allah
Keep it real;)